The new voting system, designed by Heikki Seppälä of Yle and introduced in Stockholm 1975, was deemed a success and is still in use - but an important improvement was implemented during these five years.
Until 1979, the points were read out in the order of appearance, which made it hard for the scrutineers to follow the action and on several occasions it lead to mistakes on the final result.
The first of song mentioned in this post was a victim of that.
1976 - Yugoslavia
Ambasadori - Ne mogu skriti svoju bol (Yugoslavia 1976)
When all points were counted in 1976, Ambasadori from Sarajevo were left in last place since the French jury forgot to read out their four points aimed at Yugoslavia. This was not corrected until later, and by that time Yugoslav television had already withdrawn - not to return until five years later in Dublin.
"I Cannot Hide My Pain" was a fitting title - minutes before going on stage, lead singer Ismeta had accidentally been hit on the face by a photographer's camera. All makeup was wiped off her face to make sure she wasn't badly hurt, explaining her pale look as there was no time to put it on again.
Ismeta would come back many times as a head of delegation for Bosnia, but never with a song as strong as this one. Melodic, melancholic and very well performed.
In my book, this is the best entry Former Yugoslavia ever sent in. And I am pretty fond of most of their entries.
Brotherhood of Man - Save Your Kisses For Me (United Kingdom)
1977 - France
Marie Myriam - L'oiseau et l'enfant (France 1977)
1977 is another of this crushingly fantastic years in Eurovision. Almost all songs are great little pearls in their own right, and quite a few of them are real masterpieces.
However, this is yet another winner you can't argue with. She is Marie Myriam. The song is L'oiseau et l'enfant. That is very hard to beat.
Pure class from beginning to end. Wonderful in every aspect of the word.
Marie Myriam - L'oiseau et l'enfant (France)
1978 - Germany
Ireen Sheer - Feuer (Germany 1978)
If 1977 is an extraordinarily strong year, then 1978 is the sharp opposite with far too many lean song that are perhaps not bad but unimpressive.
Anyhow, I have three songs that fight it out for my personal top title. The other two are Ricchi e Poveri from Italy and Baccara for Luxembourg, but Ireen Sheer is the one that runs away with the crown.
She is putting on a brave face as the French orchestra completely slaughters what in its studio version is a bang-up-to-date disco song, and she also gives us the first dress trick in eurovision history (if I haven't forgetten something vital).
How this song was beaten by completely insignificant songs from France, Monaco and Ireland is beyond me. But it probably says quite a lot about the juries in use this year.
Izhar Cohen & Alpha Beta - A Ba Ni Bi (Israel)
1979 - France
Anne-Marie David - Je suis l'enfant soleil (France 1979)
Yet another very strong edition song-wise. The last 70's was a good era and what went wrong in 1978, we will never know. Here are real gems from Portugal, Greece, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland... as well as many others.
(There are also some really horrid bottom-of-the-league stuff as well, but let's not even mention Monaco.)
And again that stage beast that is Anne-Marie David just walks in and wipes the floor with all competition. She nails the camera with those eyes and sings her heart out in a fantastically classy ballad.
A trained eye will note that she uses the same backing group as Ireen Sheer did in Paris. Another trained eye will recognise Yardena Arazi dancing in the postcard (it is Yardena, right?).
Milk & Honey - Hallelujah (Israel)
1980 - Turkey
Ajda Pekkan - Pet'r Oil (Turkey 1980)
If you are looking for the best exotic-flavoured eurosong of all time this is a very hot contender for the title. Catchy, fun and danceable and very well sung, there is no possibility this entry would have placed lower than, say, third these days.
Back in the day, the Turkish entries were still far too different for the juries to digest and despite scoring one top mark, Ajda didn't place better than fifteenth.
At least she did better than the other exotic pearl taking part - Samira from Morocco scored only seven points and ended second last.
Eurovision just wasn't your ideal vehicle if you wanted to be different. Some things do get better with time.
Johnny Logan - What's Another Year